Born in Dallas, Texas in 1970, Mr. Anderson discovered his love for music at the early age of 10. He started playing drums, until he found his true passion for the saxophone. He began studying with James Wilson, who would give him a pinch for each mistake, which he attributes today for his dedication and hard work. At this time, Keith Anderson was accepted to Arts Magnet High School later renamed The School for Visual and Performing Arts, where Keith was under direct leadership of Bart Marantz. Mr. Anderson’s talents and unique flair for playing the saxophone can be attributed to much and many. Keith started playing locally with a singer by the name of Pat Peterson, who was one of the original Raylettes and now is one of the singers for John Cougar Mellancamp. Later, Keith would be discovered by the legendary Les McCann. This was a man of major influence and of many commendations. Since then Mr. Anderson has traveled the world as Les’s featured soloist and has performed for thousands. He has played with many great artists all around the world. These artists include: Roy Hargrove, Erykah Badu, Bobby Lyle, Kirk Franklin, and the greatRead more
Bobby Sparks II, Grammy Award Winning Musician and Producer, has toured the world over with diverse musical giants such as Kirk Franklin, Les McCann, Roy Hargrove, Natalie Cole and Nancy Wilson. He has taken part in numerous music award shows and even played at the White House. As he continues to accomplish his goals through his music, he is now producing artists at his new recording studio in Mesquite, TX. Sparks’ diverse talent includes a wide mix of blues, jazz, and gospel music. His other projects include the release of the featured film, The Gospel, where he was the soundtrack co-producer. Bobby, the producer of Kirk Franklin’s Why We Sing album, is also featured on the CDs of Yolanda Adams and Roy Hargroves. Sparks says to other aspiring artists, “Never give up on the dream, and have something to back it up with.”Read more
Ray Sharpe is an American R&B and rockabilly singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Many of his recordings, including his best-known, “Linda Lu”, are sometimes classed as rockabilly – he was described by one record producer as “the greatest white-sounding black dude ever”. Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Sharpe grew up influenced by country as well as blues music. He learned guitar, influenced by Chuck Berry records, and in 1956 formed his own trio, Ray Sharpe and the Blues Whalers, with Raydell Reese (piano) and Cornelius Bell (drums), and they became popular playing rock and roll in Fort Worth clubs. His recording career started in Phoenix, Arizona in April 1958, when Lee Hazlewood produced his single, “That’s the Way I Feel” / “Oh, My Baby’s Gone”. His second record, “Linda Lu” / “Monkey’s Uncle” – both sides written by Sharpe, produced by Hazlewood, and featuring Duane Eddy and Sharpe on guitar, Al Casey on rhythm guitar – was much more successful. Recorded in May 1959, it reached No. 46 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year. Following its success, Sharpe appeared on American Bandstand and toured with a Dick Clark rock and roll package that also included LaVern Baker, Duane Eddy and The Coasters. “Linda Lu” has subsequently been covered by many artists, including the Rolling Stones, The Kingsmen, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, Flying Burrito Brothers, and Tom Jones. Subsequent single releases on a variety of record labels, including Hazlewood’s own Trey label, were lessRead more
Roger Boykin is a multi-talented musician, having worked in many areas of music including blues, jazz, gospel, and funk. He plays various instruments such as, guitar, bass, piano/keyboards, flute, and saxophone. A Life Member of Local 72-147, he began his Union membership in 1955 joining the Pre-Civil Rights Era Black Local 168 in Dallas, having now been an AFM member for more than 60 years.
As a teacher he has taught numerous singers and instrumentalists working around the world today. For 16 years he was a part of the music faculty at Booker T. Washington Performing and Visual Arts High School in Dallas, Texas, a school famous for training and inspiring performers in jazz, gospel, and popular genres. Boykin has published music method books for piano, guitar, bass guitar, and saxophone. He has produced various recordings for his Soultex Records label, which he founded in 1967. Several of these recordings are soul and jazz collector’s items.Read more
Very few artists successfully cross back and forth from jazz to classical and back again: Wynton Marsalis, Arturo Sandoval, and Duke Ellington come to mind. But now add to the list Dallas vocalist Damon K. Clark. Already acclaimed for his unusual sensitivity, versatility and virtuosity, Damon is as much at home with Thelonius Monk’s “’Round Midnight” as he is with Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma.” The mellifluous tenor minimizes the aesthetic distance between the classical and jazz worlds. While Damon’s tessitura and timbre could be described as Bobby McFerrin-esque, his approach to the material is unique. Damon’s scatting in particular exhibits a classical precision, while hinting at his affection for Ella Fitzgerald’s and Mel Tormé’s improvisational skills. Damon’s take on songs like Gershwins’ “They All Laughed” is a highlight, showcasing his astonishing range, playful scatting, melismatic mastery and elastic phrasing. Damon has shared the stage with seven time nominee and Grammy winner Paula Cole. He has also frequently performed with Grammy and Stellar Award winner Andrea Wallace. As far as collaborations go, Damon has also made music with some of the greatest musicians in Dallas like Myles Tate III, Tom Braxton, Bernard Wright, Eric Willis, and producer of Beyonce’s “The Best ThingRead more